Discrete choice experiments (DCEs) are a specific type of survey where scenarios (choice sets) are presented for two or more treatment alternatives.

These surveys provide a series of choice sets that vary the characteristics (attributes) of each alternative and ask respondents to choose the most preferred option from those presented.  When enough choice sets are varied in this way using statistically efficient survey designs, this method enables identification of respondents’ preferences.

DCEs quantify trade-offs respondents are willing to make in order to achieve treatment benefits. In healthcare this may be the willingness to accept drug side effects in order to achieve longer survival. The Health Economics team is currently using discrete choice experiments to elicit patient, clinician and community preferences in:

  1. Adjuvant immunotherapy for melanoma
  2. Palliative care service provision
  3. Post-cancer follow-up regimens